Hi Folks: I’m planning on adding more grapes to our tiny vineyard. So far we have Edelweiss, King of the North, Concord and 2 others - I’m blanking on the names. Planning to add Swensons Red and St Theresa.
But I’m really interested in adding some Muscats for possible winemaking as well as fresh eating. Any advice on your favorite Muscat grapes? Also, a trusted source to buy from? Many Thanks!
Well, I had a New York Muscat vine until it died of Pierce’s Disease. Never got many grapes from it. Very non vigorous vine. If I were trying another seeded Muscat I would try Muscat Hamburg.
Also, had Jupiter which is a seedless table Muscat grape. Very productive vine. Great fresh eating grape. Not listed for winemaking.
See that your planning on adding Swensons Red. I had 5 of those. Very productive but seeded. Taste was okay but in my opinion there are better fresh eating grapes that are seedless. Concord is a much better juice (I suppose wine too) grape. They eventually all died of Pierce’s Disease too.
The biggest selection of Muscat grapes that I have seen is Bunchgrapes. They sell cuttings only so that may be an issue for you. That where I got mine.
NY Muscat is not a good fresh eater (chewy along with the seeds) but is great for wine or jam or any such. I would say Jupiter is a little bit better fresh and a little less good in the kitchen. Golden Muscat was the one I liked the most fresh, it was much later though and the birds got most of them. Muscat Hamburg is pure vinifera, it is a much better version of NY Muscat but as with all vinifera is very disease-prone… I pulled mine. I got all of them from Lon many years ago. I agree NY Muscat is not vigorous, my vine is over 10 years old and you would guess it is 2-3 years old.
Monastery Muscat is a seeded white wine variety, that may be hardy (-10 to -15F) enough for 6a Maine. Viniferas like Muscat Hamburg would not be hardy. Valvin Muscat is another one from Cornell that may work for you. Jupiter is probably hardy enough and can develop a great muscat flavor, but really needs lots of heat for full flavor. It also can make a nice wine.
@tennessean, are you saying you have had vines die of PD in Tennessee? I know it’s becoming a problem as far north as Huntsville, AL, and there have been some symptoms seen in southern areas of Tennessee, but I have never heard anyone say it was killing vines here.
From my experience Summer Muscat is the Morus Nigra of grapes. The flavor puts any other grape I’ve grown to shame. And I’ve grown quite a few both hardy and non hardy seedless grapes. But it was very hard to grow even in my greenhouse. Muscat of Alexandria wasn’t close for taste and it’s full of seeds.
Thank you for this advice. I may change my mind about ordering Swensons Red. Jupiter sounds very good. Muscat Hamburg sounds interesting, too. I’m not sure of the zones yet.
As far as Pierce’s Disease, it appears to be a bacterial infection. I wonder if anyone has done any studies with the application of Origanum oil (food grade oregano oil)? I use it to prevent Blackhead in my chickens and turkeys. Works like an antibiotic although it isn’t one.
Yeah, I had PD here (just east of Memphis) killing my vines as confirmed by my county extension office.
Ten years ago when I decided to get into table grapes I saw on the PD map that I was just to the north of the range line so I planted them. Big mistake. Once you see matchsticks on the vines all that can be done is to yank the vines out of the ground.
I still have a Concord vine on an arbor that last year had enough grapes to supply me with plenty of grapes for jelly. I may lose that vine too since it seemed to lack vigor although it produced grapes. Maybe not as Concords seem to have some resistance to PD. At any rate, I am transitioning to muscadines.
I can’t help but wonder if PD will slowly spread northerly with these mild winters that we are having.
That doesn’t sound good for middle TN growers if winters keep getting warmer. There are a lot of new PD resistant wine grapes under trial now, so some alternatives are coming, but not much for non-vinifera table grapes.
I think you can get Monastety Muscat cuttings from bunchgrapes.com. PD is only an issue in milder winter areas and no way you will get it from Oregon. Even if you received infected material, one Maine winter would eliminate it.
Of those only Reliance. It’s an OK grape. But not as good as My favorites: Flame, Summer Royal, Princess, and Crimson Seedless. My favorite of hardy seedless was Canadice. Jupiter I didn’t like at all.